US: 17,000 potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under obscure law

All is well. You can fully trust corporations that have only one interest: Profit!


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Dow Chemical plant, Midland, Michigan

Of some 84,000 chemicals being used commercially in the United States, some 20 percent — or 17,000 — are kept secret not only from the public, but from medical professionals, state regulators and even emergency responders, according to a report at the Washington Post.

And the reason for this potentially harmful lack of openness? Profit.

A 1976 law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, mandates that manufacturers report to the Environmental Protection Agency any new chemicals they intend to market, but manufacturers can request that a chemical be kept secret if disclosure “could harm their bottom line,” the Washington Post reports.

Because they are secret, it’s impossible to tell how many of the 17,000 chemicals are potentially harmful to people. But the Post notes that, in March of last year, more than half of the “substantial risk” reports filed with the EPA involved secret chemicals.

And chemical makers may be abusing their privilege under the law. According to the EPA, in recent years 95 percent of manufacturers’ reports of new chemicals have made some request for secrecy. Ten of the secret chemicals are used in children’s products.

Read moreUS: 17,000 potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under obscure law

Climategate: Michael Mann’s Very Unhappy ‘Whistleblower’ New Year

michael-mann
Michael Mann

As I said yesterday, one of our jobs this year is to wipe the complacent smiles off the smug faces of the lobbyists, “experts”, “scientists”, politicians and activists pushing AGW.

This is why I am so glad to report that Michael Mann – creator of the incredible Hockey Stick curve and one of the scientists most heavily implicated in the Climategate scandal – is about to get a very nasty shock. When he turns up to work on Monday, he’ll find that all 27 of his colleagues at the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University have received a rather tempting email inviting them to blow the whistle on anyone they know who may have been fraudulently misusing federal grant funds for climate research.

Under US law, regardless of whether or not a prosecution results, the whistleblower stands to make very large sums of money: it is based on a percentage of the total government funds which have been misused, in this case perhaps as much as $50 million. (Hat tip: John O’Sullivan of the wonderful new campaigning site www.climategate.com)

Here’s that email in full:

Hi,

Greetings and best wishes for a prosperous New Year.

National Search
After the recent whistleblower revelations of emails between climate researchers and data from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, there are on-going investigations into potential fraudulent use of grant funds in Climate Research in the US.  I am assisting interested parties who may have details of fraud in climate research to make contact with the proper authorities, and to share in the rewards paid when the funds are recovered.

Whistleblower Rewards Program
The federal government has established vigorous programs to identify and prosecute fraudulent grant applications and administration.  The US Department of Justice (DOJ) administers the False Claims Act.  It allows rewards for those who come forward with details of grant fraud to share in the recovery of federal funds.  This reward can be as much as 30% of the total amount reclaimed.  The program is almost completely reliant on insiders to report their knowledge of the fraud in their institutions.

Read moreClimategate: Michael Mann’s Very Unhappy ‘Whistleblower’ New Year

Beijing and Seoul Hit by Heaviest Snow in More Than Half Century

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A worker de-ices a walkway at the Forbidden City in Beijing on Jan. 4, 2010. (Bloomberg)

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — The heaviest snowfall to hit Beijing and Seoul in more than half a century grounded hundreds of planes in the two capitals as temperatures in northern China were set to fall to the lowest in 50 years.

Beijing Capital International Airport canceled more than 500 flights today as of 2 p.m. local time, China Central Television reported. Gimpo Airport in western Seoul grounded 187 flights as of 2 p.m. local time, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said in a statement.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on local authorities to ensure food supplies, agricultural production and the safety of transportation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. South Korea mobilized 5,000 soldiers to remove snow from blocked roads, Yonhap News reported today.

Suburban areas of Beijing received more than 33 centimeters (13 inches) of snow yesterday, the Beijing Daily reported. It was the capital’s heaviest daily snowfall since 1951, Xinhua reported.

Among those affected by the weather were Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang and Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan. Their flight to Beijing last night was delayed by heavy snow and the visit was canceled this morning, Patrick Wong, Tsang’s press officer, said by telephone.

About 90 percent of Beijing’s more than 1,300 flights yesterday were canceled or delayed, according to state broadcaster CCTV. At least three airports in China’s Shandong province were closed today due to the blizzards, it reported.

Schools Closed

Read moreBeijing and Seoul Hit by Heaviest Snow in More Than Half Century

Britain is facing one of the coldest winters in 100 years, experts predict

Britain is bracing itself for one of the coldest winters for a century with temperatures hitting minus 16 degrees Celsius, forecasters have warned.

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Parts of Scotland have had snowcover for nearly three weeks

They predicted no let up in the freezing snap until at least mid-January, with snow, ice and severe frosts dominating.

And the likelihood is that the second half of the month will be even colder.

Weather patterns were more like those in the late 1970s, experts said, while Met Office figures released on Monday are expected to show that the country is experiencing the coldest winter for up to 25 years.

On New Year’s Day 10 extreme weather warnings were in place, with heavy snow expected in northern England and Scotland.

Read moreBritain is facing one of the coldest winters in 100 years, experts predict

US government wants farmers to use coal waste on fields

Remember?

Obama administration refuses to disclose “high hazard” coal dump locations:

A rift has opened between the Obama administration and some of its closest allies – Democratic leaders and environmental organisations – over its refusal to publicly disclose the location of 44 coal ash dumps that have been officially designated as a “high hazard” to local populations.

The administration turned down a request from a powerful Democratic senator to make public the list of 44 dumps, which contain a toxic soup of arsenic and heavy metals from coal-fired electricity plants, citing terrorism fears.


The federal government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil even as it considers regulating coal wastes for the first time.

The material is produced by power plant “scrubbers” that remove acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. A synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

The Environmental Protection Agency says those toxic metals occur in only tiny amounts that pose no threat to crops, surface water or people. But some environmentalists say too little is known about how the material affects crops, and ultimately human health, for the government to suggest that farmers use it.

“This is a leap into the unknown,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “This stuff has materials in it that we’re trying to prevent entering the environment from coal-fired power plants, and then to turn around and smear it across ag lands raises some real questions.”

Read moreUS government wants farmers to use coal waste on fields

Stanford University: Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline

corn-field-for-ethanol-production

(NaturalNews) A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University has revealed that ethanol fuel produces more ozone that regular gasoline. When ethanol is burned through combustion, it produces emissions that are substantially higher than gasoline in aldehydes, the carcinogenic precursors to ozone.

Much of the fuel dispensed at pumps in America today is a blend of both ethanol and gasoline. E85, a typical gasoline blend that is 85 percent ethanol, was found to emit more ozone pollutants than gasoline, especially during warm, sunny days. Diana Ginnebaugh, a doctoral candidate who worked on the study, explained that even on cold days when ozone is typically not a problem, E85 could result in problematic levels of ozone.

When a car is first started on a cold day, it takes the catalytic converter a few minutes to warm up in order to reach maximum efficiency. During the warmup period, the highest proportion of pollutants escape the car’s tailpipe, resulting in increased pollution. According to Ginnebaugh, even a slight increase in pollutants could cause places like Los Angeles and Denver, cities that already have smog problems, to have significantly more days when ozone limits are exceeded and public health is at risk.

E85 emissions contain several other different pollutants including ones that cause throat and eye irritation and lung problems. Crop damage may also occur from the aldehydes emitted from the burning of ethanol. In the worst-case scenario, E85 was found to potentially add 39 parts per billion more ozone into the air a day than normal gasoline.

Read moreStanford University: Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline

NCDC: 250 Snowfall Records So Far In 2009; This December Shapes Up to be the Coldest on Record

national_climatic_data_center

Total Number of Records for December 25, 2009
(out of 11,209 stations with at least 30 years of data)
New: 250 + Tied: 13 = Total: 263

More here: National Climatic Data Center



December shaping up to be one of the coldest on record in the US

US Blizzard
Blizzard hits Christmas travelers in Nebraska and Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

It has often been said that “Weather is not climate”, but ultimately it provides the only meaningful way to verify climate models. Did the climate models predict the cold, snowy weather which has been seen across much of the US?

According to NOAA, October was the third coldest on record in the US, with almost every state showing temperatures from one to ten degrees below normal.  Some Parts of Colorado received record snowfall during October, starting the first week of the month.

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Image from HPRCC – University of Nebraska at Lincoln

With a few days left, it appears that December is headed for a repeat, with temperatures ranging from one to fifteen degrees below normal.  (Note that the color scale is different from October, now the greens show more negative departure, even South Texas is at -6F)

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Image from HPRCC – University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Temperatures for the rest of the month are forecast by NCEP to be below normal for almost the entire country, so it is unlikely that the map will change much before New Years Day.

Read moreNCDC: 250 Snowfall Records So Far In 2009; This December Shapes Up to be the Coldest on Record

The Food Crisis of 2010: USDA vs Reality

Loooong article!

See also:
The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: The Terror And The Crash of 2010


soybean-field
Soybean field

If you read any economic, financial, or political analysis for 2010 that doesn’t mention the food shortage looming next year, throw it in the trash, as it is worthless. There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year. When this happens, the resulting triple digit food inflation will lead panicking central banks around the world to dump their foreign reserves to appreciate their currencies and lower the cost of food imports, causing the collapse of the dollar, the treasury market, derivative markets, and the global financial system. The US will experience economic disintegration.

The 2010 Food Crisis Means Financial Armageddon

Over the last two years, the world has faced a series of unprecedented financial crises: the collapse of the housing market, the freezing of the credit markets, the failure of Wall Street brokerage firms (Bear Stearns/Lehman Brothers), the failure of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the failure of AIG, Iceland’s economic collapse, the bankruptcy of the major auto manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler), etc… In the face of all these challenges, the demise of the dollar, derivative markets, and the modern international system of credit has been repeatedly forecasted and feared. However, all these doomsday scenarios have so far been proved false, and, despite tremendous chaos and losses, the global financial system has held together.

The 2010 Food Crisis is different. It is THE CRISIS. The one that makes all doomsday scenarios come true. The government bailouts and central bank interventions, which have held the financial world together during the last two years, will be powerless to prevent the 2010 Food Crisis from bringing the global financial system to its knees.

Financial crisis will kick into high gear

So far the crisis has been driven by the slow and steady increase in defaults on mortgages and other loans. This is about to change. What will drive the financial crisis in 2010 will be panic about food supplies and the dollar’s plunging value. Things will start moving fast.

Dynamics Behind 2010 Food Crisis

Early in 2009, the supply and demand in agricultural markets went badly out of balance. The world experienced a catastrophic fall in food production as a result of the financial crisis (low commodity prices and lack of credit) and adverse weather on a global scale. Meanwhile, China and other Asian exporters, in an effort to preserve their economic growth, were unleashing domestic consumption long constrained by inflation fears, and demand for raw materials, especially food staples, exploded as Chinese consumers worked their way towards American-style overconsumption, prodded on by a flood of cheap credit and easy loans from the government.

Normally food prices should have already shot higher months ago, leading to lower food consumption and bringing the global food supply/demand situation back into balance. This never happened because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), instead of adjusting production estimates down to reflect decreased production, adjusted estimates upwards to match increasing demand from china. In this way, the USDA has brought supply and demand back into balance (on paper) and temporarily delayed a rise in food prices by ensuring a catastrophe in 2010.

Read moreThe Food Crisis of 2010: USDA vs Reality

Build-A-Bear: The Sinister Green Plot to Turn Our Kids Into Eco-Fascist Manchurian Candidates

Do Al Gore or Dr Rajendra Pachauri own shares in the international toy franchise Build-A-Bear? Here is a video – one of a series of three – that the company’s impressionable young customers are being directed to watch via its website www.buildabearville.com. (Hat tip: Plato Says)

You can watch the other two here and here.

America’s parents aren’t happy at this kind of eco-indoctrination. Here’s a taste from Big Government.

Every year we take the kids to Build-A-Bear, but we have now gone for the last time. I get enough indoctrination from the main stream media, and now I need to worry about what political messges Build-A-Bear feels a need to pass on to my grandchidren? I don’t think so. They just made sure that we will now switch to a store that sells toys that don’t come with political indoctrination. Build-A-Bear, you just lost an entire family and generation of good customers.

Leave our children alone Build a Bear. I once thought your store was cute …. the whole concept of it but not anymore. Let children be children. They should not have to deal with heavy subjects such as Global warming which is a hoax anyway. Pure disgusting on your part and I will no longer shop at your stores or online.

Wow … more like build-a-scare than a bear. This is unconscionable. My kids have a dozen of their products but we will NOT be shopping there anymore. I just can’t believe they actually did that. I shouldn’t be surprised but what a mistake.

and here is Build-A-Bear’s CEO’s not altogether convincing response.

Our goal with the online webisodes was to show children, through two animated polar bears and a penguin, how they could also make a difference in big and small ways. The animated story occurs in the North Pole where the 2 polar bear characters live and they want to help keep the ice from melting so Santa and the reindeers can take off safely in time to deliver all their gifts. Thanks to the giant ice cubes created by the bear and penguin team they replace the melting ice and all is well so Santa and the reindeers do not miss a beat.

We had no other intentions with the story whatsoever. we do hear you and will certainly take your opinion into consideration when developing future stories. It is interested customers like yourselves that help us do a better job.

Sincerely,

Maxine Clark

Maxine Clark
Founder and Chief Executive Bear

Merry Christmas, Maxine. Something tells me that your Yuletide sales figures are about to stink like Mr Hankey.

Read moreBuild-A-Bear: The Sinister Green Plot to Turn Our Kids Into Eco-Fascist Manchurian Candidates

Earth’s North Magnetic Pole is Racing Toward Russia at Almost 64 Kilometers a Year Due to Core Flux

Before:

National Geographic News (December 15, 2005):

North Magnetic Pole Is Shifting Rapidly Toward Russia:

New research shows the pole moving at rapid clip—25 miles (40 kilometers) a year.

Over the past century the pole has moved 685 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Arctic Canada toward Siberia, says Joe Stoner, a paleomagnetist at Oregon State University.

Now …


North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux

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Earth’s north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet’s core, new research says.

The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field’s movements by tracking how Earth’s magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.

Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there’s a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core’s surface, possibly being created by a mysterious “plume” of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.

And it’s this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.

Read moreEarth’s North Magnetic Pole is Racing Toward Russia at Almost 64 Kilometers a Year Due to Core Flux